Commander Stuart Cundy speaks to the media outside New Scotland Yard. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Not just the immediate recovery of the bodies we have found, but the full search of that whole building we could be talking weeks, we could be talking months. It is a very long process. There is a risk that sadly we may not be able to identify everybody.
Writing in the Guardian, David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said that arrests and prosecutions should follow the deadly blaze.
Dont let them tell you its a tragedy. Its not a tragedy its a monstrous crime.
Corporate manslaughter. They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way, he wrote.
Police described the operation to search the gutted, blackened and unstable remains of the tower as one of most difficult operations the Met had faced.
The process of identifying the bodies will be carried out by forensic science teams and will involve experts who worked on identifying victims of the south Asian tsunami in 2004.
Dany Cotton, the
London fire brigade commissioner, said firefighters had to withdraw from the building on Thursday because it was unstable.
Special search dogs were sent in to search during the day, but the full search could not take place until firefighters and the local authority had built structures to shore up the tower so it was safe to enter.
Cotton said firefighters had identified the flat where the blaze had begun and carried out initial investigations. I want to be realistic it is a very slow and painstaking process, she said.
Throughout Thursday, details began to emerge of heartrending last moments of those who had died. The family of an Italian architecture student, Gloria Trevisan, and her partner, Marco Gottardi, said there was no hope of finding them alive.
Maria Cristina Sandrin, the familys lawyer, said that in a last phone call to her mother at 3am from her flat on the 23rd floor, Trevisan said goodbye. She said: Thank you, mother, for what you have done for me.
The mother of five-year-old Isaac Paulos described how she had wrapped a wet towel around his head as the family tried to escape with neighbours from the 18th floor.
As they were being led to safety through the darkness by a neighbour, his hand somehow slipped from her grasp. When I got outside, I realised Isaac wasnt there, said Genet Shawo.
In support centres and at the scene of the fire, the anger and frustration of residents began to bubble over. A small protest broke out beneath the tower block, and one man was led away by police during a visit to the scene by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
At St Clements church, local residents Eve Wedderburn and Dayo Gilmour tried to speak to Corbyn, but were blocked by volunteers.
We want to tell him that we fear a cover-up over the fire, and that the council will use this as an opportunity to move people out of the borough, said Wedderburn.
Rock Feilding-Mellen, the deputy leader of Kensington & Chelsea council, where the tower is situated, said: There will obviously have to be important questions and we understand the anger my understanding is, very few councils and housing associations working on renovating 1960s and 1970s tower blocks have retro-fitted sprinklers, but that will have to be looked at in much greater detail.
Many residents of blocks close to Grenfell Tower were still excluded from their homes on Thursday, although a few were allowed back under escort to collect personal items.
One family of six, who declined to give their names, said they had slept in their car on Wednesday night after waiting for hours for the council to provide accommodation.
We just got too tired waiting. Wed been up since 1am, when we were evacuated, said one of them.
Kirstie Allsopp, the television presenter, who lives in the area, said the number of donations had been overwhelming. She echoed messages from the council, who said the public should stop donating because the centres could not cope with the sheer scale of the generosity.
People have been so generous there has been staggering generosity. It is so heartwarming, but physically we cannot cope with any more donations in the area, she said.
The borough said it had rehoused 103 households, 49 of whom had lived in Grenfell Tower, and 54 others whose homes were inside the police cordon.
The families were being put up in hotels in west and central London. Housing minister Alok Sharma also told MPs that the government guaranteed that every single family would be rehoused in the local area, not moved out.
If you are concerned about anyone you know who might be missing after the fire, please call 0800 0961 233.